Learning Academy Box Sets

Take the opportunity to gain accreditation in a specific subject. Our Box Sets are groups of related modules that help you focus your learning. The full box set cost includes your accreditation. To complete accreditation, you need to watch all five modules and send an email to accreditation@theforum.social to describe what you have taken from the modules and how you have applied these in your role.
Each Box Set costs £295 +VAT. (Free to anyone on an Assisted Learning Pathway). Click on the descriptions below to book your place now.

Student takeaways

One of our members from Lifeplus completed the Capacity Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting box set these are the headline takeaways:
 - A small impact in your field can have a good effect higher up in the ranks at board level i.e. matching up with a higher strategic objective
 - Planning teams need to collaborate with other areas/organisations, engage stakeholders
 - Increase Operational effectiveness - As a team, we have vastly increased our communication channels 
 - Improve and manage the flow of your data cycle and version control
 - Long Term: Financial and Budget Planning – Operational: Drives capacity, scenario planning, and risk
 - In the middle of a transformation/plan, the challenges are still there, and targets not being met --> this must lead to evolving the approach to capacity and demand
 - Improve the quality of the data, focussing on what/why/how, determine what happened to the customer base
 - Demonstrating Value and ROI – benefits achieved, costs avoided, risks avoided

Adding Value as Insight Analysts

Hosted by Ian Robertson and Chris Rainsforth

Description: How do we add value as insight analysts? Focus on how you can enable better decisions and generate measurable improvement. What are the key factors that set you up for success?  
 
Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the introduction to the Box set; How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

Analysts as Improvement Champions

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: The role of analysts as improvement champions. Explore the three phases of improvement and identify how you can make the most difference.
 
Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the introduction to the Box set; How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

Shaping the Future the 4 Stages of Insight

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: Shaping the future: the 4 stages of insight. Learn how to move from hindsight to foresight and help prepare our organisations for whatever happens in a fast-changing world.
 
Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the introduction to the Box set; How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

The Scientific Method

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: The Scientific Method: become a trusted source of information. Understand how to create an operating rhythm for analysis, which builds trust and confidence in your conclusions. This includes the first of our exercises to help you identify gaps and opportunity in your current approaches.
 
Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the Box Set How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

Problem Statements & Hypotheses

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: Using problem statements to generate fruitful hypotheses. Explore how to focus in the right way, becoming clear about the questions and problems you need to address.

Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the introduction to the Box set; How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

The Scientific Method and the Improvement Cycle

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: Using the Scientific method to drive improvement. In this module we link the scientific method to the three phases of improvement, and get you started on the next of the practical exercises.
 
Notes
: This is a new module intended as part of the Box Set How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

Prioritising Opportunities for Improvement

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsforth

Description: Explore how to focus on the right issues, how to create time to learn and how to balance proactive and reactive work, as analysts. 
 
Notes
: This is a new module intended as part of the Box Set How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

An Introduction to Accuracy & Confidence

Hosted by Ian Robertson & Chris Rainsford

Description: Understand the key statistical considerations that will ensure your conclusions are well founded and can drive confidence. The separate Statistical Confidence box set is an opportunity to drive this further.
 
Notes: This is a new module intended as part of the Box Set How to Drive Improvement with Data & Insight but can also be an independent module

Formats & Layouts

Hosted by Ian Robertson

Whether we are producing dashboards, reports or presentations layout and format is key to landing your message. Learn how to make it easy for the audience to follow your story, draw their focus to what really matters and avoid unnecessary distractions.

Data Visualisation

Hosted by Ian Robertson

Explore effective ways of presenting data in a meaningful, interesting and engaging way. Improve the way you inform and persuade your key stakeholders.  
 - Understand why your existing reports don’t excite or engage your stakeholders
 - Learn the basics of data visualisation and how to communicate information
 - Apply “2 key questions” and start the use the tools and resource you need 

The pattern of great presentations

Hosted by Ian Robertson and Alison Conaghan

In this module we look at how techniques from great speakers through history can be used to bring your presentations to live and bring your audience on your journey.

Emotional Engagement & The Power of Stories

Hosted by Ian Robertson

Often facts and data will not get our message across. We need to understand our audience and use emotional engagement techniques to bring our insight to life. In this module we explore some simple emotional engagement techniques to make your communications, presentations and reports more meaningful. We also explore the power of stories in understanding our stakeholders and overcoming their fears and doubts.

The Pyramid Principle for Effective Communication

Hosted on 17th July 2020 by Ian Roberston

Like us our stakeholders have limited time, we rarely read every emails and report we receive end to end, and neither do they. We may have just a few seconds to land our message and get our audience to take action or read on. The pyramid principle is a simple technique to help you structure your communications and reports to quickly answer the “So what?” and land your core message.

Identifying Opportunities from Patterns & Exceptions

Hosted on 9th June 2020 by Ian Robertson

To innovate and be the best that we can we need to identify and exploit the best opportunities not just to improve but also to learn.

In this module we explore,
 - How to find the right opportunities
 - Creating time to learn and improve
 - Striking the right balance between proactive & reactive insight
 

Introduction to the Insight Cycle

Hosted on 8th June 2020 by Ian Robertson

Our best practice framework for data, analytics & insight, has the Scientific method at its heart and draws inspiration from methods that drove success with the planning framework last year. In this module we;   
 - Explore the scientific method
 - Introduce our new insight cycle
 - Share an exercise to identify the gaps and opportunity in your data, analytics and insight processes.

Descriptive Statistics - Part 2c

Hosted on 29th May 2020 by Ian Robertson

Following on from Descriptive Statistics Part 1. In this module we look at applying these techniques to real life scenarios, you will receive exercises to complete before we talk you through the solutions.

Descriptive Statistics - Part 2b

Hosted on 29th May 2020 by Ian Robertson

Following on from Descriptive Statistics Part 1. In this module we look at applying these techniques to real life scenarios, you will receive exercises to complete before we talk you through the solutions.

Descriptive Statistics - Part 2a

Hosted on 29th May 2020 by Ian Robertson

Following on from Descriptive Statistics Part 1. In this module we look at applying these techniques to real life scenarios, you will receive exercises to complete before we talk you through the solutions.

Delivering value with targets

Hosted on 19th May 2020 by Ian Robertson

There is no point setting targets if they don’t deliver value and benefits. In this module;
 - Learn how good targets can deliver value, benefits and return on investment
 - See the pros and cons of competitive and collaborate targets
 - Hear how to avoid targets driving the wrong behaviours

Dealing with Ad hoc Requests

Hosted on 14th May 2020 by David Preece and Ian Robertson

Not all ad hoc requests are time-stealers!  Some of them add value and insight and quickly become BAU work.  This session looks at the art behind identifying what is urgent and valuable and what isn’t.
 - Understand the inevitability of Ad Hoc requests
 - Learn how to prioritise requests and eliminate waste
 - See how asking the right questions enables you to quickly understand the driver behind the request

Benchmarking

Hosted On 12th May 2020 By Ian Robertson

Benchmarking is important in understanding best practice, comparing ourselves with our competitors and becoming the best, but there are many pitfalls to avoid. In this module;
 - Hear the value of benchmarking
 - Learn how to avoid the common mistakes
 - Hear our top tips for benchmarking

Performance Records, Data Tables, Rigour and Governance

Hosted on 5th May 2020 by Ian Robertson

Clear documentation and structure can help us remove single points of failure, avoid arguments, ensure a single version of the truth and avoid duplicated work. In this module;
 - See how to create a data dictionary to ensure a single version of the truth
 - Learn techniques to ensure metrics are used to drive the right behaviours
 - Facilitate exception based reporting with agreed triggers

Target Typology

Hosted on 30th April 2020 by Ian Robertson

How do you avoid your targets being misunderstood, misinterpreted and misused. In this module;
 - Learn the different target types
 - Understand tolerances & triggers
 - Avoid common mistakes

The Strategy Pyramid

Hosted on 28th April 2020 by Ian Robertson

Before setting targets and goals it is important that these are aligned to strategies that support your organisational goals. In this module;
 - Understand your organisational goals
 - See how to balance your strategies
 - Learn how to align the right metrics and targets to your strategies

Root Cause Analysis

Hosted on 21st April 2020 by Ian Robertson

Root cause analysis is a core skill for analysts and forecasters but is something that few of us do well.  If we want to predict or shape the future it is vital that we understand the past. In this webinar we will explore:

- Why do we need root cause analysis
- How do we ensure we are asking the right questions
- Common Mistakes
- Use of technology to support root cause analysis

Descriptive Statistics - Part 1

Hosted on 20th March 2020 by Ian Robertson

It is easy to lie with statistics it is easier to lie without them. Whether we are an analyst or a decision maker a basic knowledge of statistical knowledge is essential to;

 - Understand the predictability, variability and repeatability of our data and allow us to separate the exceptions from the normal
 - Ensure we are giving the right message
 - Make sure we aren’t being mislead and are focussing on the normal rather than the rare exceptions

In this pre-recorded webinar module we the introduce the principles of statistics including, standard deviation, standard error and confidence levels. The accompanying excel workbook allows you to pause and play, and practice with real life examples at your own speed. 
 

Understanding & Managing Sample Bias

Hosted on 13th December 2019 by Ian Robertson

 - How to Identify Sample Bias & ensure you reduce the likelihood of bias
 - The impact on your data and insight validity from Sample Bias and the potential impact to your business
 - Common Sample Bias issues to look out for

Gathering Qualitative Feedback

Hosted 14th June 2019 by Phil Anderson

Hear about different methods for collecting information along with the pitfalls to avoid. Learn how to engage with your stakeholder to gather feedback and information to improve your planning.

- Understand different methods for gathering feedback
- Improve your questioning skills and start to gather honest usable feedback
- Learn how to gather feedback that make you feel good

Measures of Success: Balanced Scorecards

Hosted on 30th April 2019 By Ian Robertson

Understand how to create the right measures to track and develop your real time effectiveness. Learn how to create the right process, aligned to your strategy and how to take a holistic view when setting measures of success.  Learning outcomes include:
 - What does good look like? Explore the key characteristics of an ideal real time function and key considerations to develop understanding and learning
 - Define your purpose. Understand how real-time planning can support your business strategy and impact it can have on customers and colleagues
 - Creating the right measures. Understand different perspectives and develop a holistic framework of success measures

Measures of Success for MI and Insight

Hosted on 12th March 2019 By Ian Robertson

Understand how to create the right measures to track and develop your MI and Insight efforts. Learn how to create the right process, aligned to your strategy and how to take a holistic view when setting measures of success. Learning outcomes include:
 - What does good look like?  Explore the key characteristics of an ideal real time function and key considerations to develop understanding and learning.
 - Define your purpose. Understand how real-time planning can support your business strategy and impact it can have on customers and colleagues.
 - Creating the right measures. Understand different perspectives and develop a holistic framework of success measures.